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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Game Design Theory: Joakim Sandberg: Metroid Fusion

This is an old favorite of mine. Joakim shares his thoughts on gameplay flow in Metroid Fusion; what works, and what doesn't.

I'm pretty sure not a single clip that he recorded is random filler. Everything Joakim shows is tied directly into what he's talking about.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kickstarter: Confederate Express

Confederate Express is already a winner for this pitch video alone. Detailed, isometric sprites are just about the greatest thing on this planet.

As of right now, though, I don't have a clue how the game controls. It looks like a mouse-crosshair affair, but there's no UI, so who knows. (And who cares. It's beautiful.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kickstarter: Night in The Woods

So Mae is this college dropout loser, Possum Springs is the hometown she just moved back to, and now Mae's budding supernatural powers is letting her see a darker side of Possum Springs that she never knew existed.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Kickstarter: Scale

Steve Swink's Scale is expanding into something wonderful, but it needs money. Whose money? Yours!

I've seen this game a number of times, and it looks amazing, but I've never gotten the chance to play it because there is always a line.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Stanley Parable: Demo

I'm going to make your day better: Download and play The Stanley Parable Demo.

There. See? Better.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Magicians & Looters: XBLIG Patch

. faster player acceleration
. slightly more generous enemy hitboxes

less-swingy boss fights
. Red Warlock deathball ambush spawns 4 instead of 8
. Red Warlock black knives only hit player once per attack at most
. Jocko Bear Ball does less damage and can't repeat hits as often
. Jocko drops 4 bombs from tightrope instead of 8 towards the end
. Spud fires fewer missiles all around
. Spud's acid gives more warning before rising

bug fixes
. removed ghost orb from orb count
. fixed wrong zone label on Quad Striker
. fixed bug where player would fall through Spud's platform when entering the room

trial mode
. clarified main menu
. added gnome guides to trial game; removed Duel trial game

If you've got Magicians & Looters on your 360 and your adventure petered out somewhere in the middle, I recommend picking it back up. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gravity: Long Shot vs Short

I remember being blown away with the beginning monologue in Sling Blade where Billy Bob Thornton does this scene that lasts, unbroken, for about ten minutes. Probably longer. There's never a cut to a different camera angle, or a quick shot of someone reacting to what Karl was saying. It's just Billy Bob, talking and talking and talking, and you get pulled right in because the camera never says, "Hey, stop listening and look at this other thing." Freaking awesome.

I love long, unbroken scenes. There's a weird magic to them. They can pull you further into the experience, or make you step right out of it.

Gravity has its own unbroken shot and I swear it lasts for, like, twenty hours. It's amazing, and it works perfectly as an immersive tool that forces you into that micro-gravity hell, because those little breaks between shots are tension relievers. They remind you that, "Hey, it's just a movie, Dummy. Relax."
Gravity doesn't do that. It just freaks you out and continues to freak you out until the credits roll.

Imagine if, during that scene, whenever anyone spoke, the camera would cut to their faces. Like, Clooney tells a story so we cut to Clooney's face, and then that other dude starts dancing so the camera cuts to him. It would be a completely different movie, that incredible rising tension would be diluted, and when the shit hits the fan we'd only be halfway invested in the story.

Sandra Bullock, you are fucking amazing. This movie is going to win so many god-damned awards.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Naughty Dog: The Last of Us

I owned a copy of Rings of Power. It was one of Naughty Dog's first commercial titles, designed for the PC, but ported at the last minute to the Genesis (which is another way of saying it was a mess). Playing it as a kid, all I remember was that every time I encountered an enemy I'd get my ass handed to me and have to start over. It wasn't even my fault, either, because (as I learned much later on) all the high-level monster encounters are mixed in with the low-level, and there's no way to tell, so as a new player you're all but guaranteed to run into a monster that will absolutely destroy you.

About two days after purchase, I returned the game.

That was 1991. It's now 2013, and Naughty Dog, the same studio responsible for Rings of Power, released The Last of Us.

That's really all I wanted to share with you, and I'll repeat it:

The studio who made Rings of Power would go on to make The Last of Us.